XPRIZE Visioneers 2016

Are you an industry disruptor? a social advocate? a garage tinker? Design an XPRIZE competition and drive a world changing breakthrough.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed



XPRIZE® is an innovation engine, a facilitator of exponential change, a catalyst for the benefit of humanity. We celebrate bold thinkers who are willing to take risks for the sake of innovation. Our incentivized prize competitions have launched the new space industry, resulted in an exponential increase in efficiencies to clean up devastating oil spills, and helped open up a new generation of super fuel-efficient vehicles.

The XPRIZE Visioneers challenge invites YOU to delve into the Grand Challenges you see in the world -- and then to set the direction which will inspire the world's top innovators to deliver impossible breakthroughs.

We are seeking industry disruptors, social advocates, tinkerers, innovators and empathetic leaders who are excited to get their hands dirty in a problem, participate in deep research, talk to experts and inventors, and then talk to them again. You are eager to debate, learn, analyze, create, and work closely with other team members. You understand how to set audacious goals and you see a breakthrough for an impossible problem.

You have a drive to make the world a better place. You’re audacious -- some might call you obsessed -- and forever in hot pursuit of the most cutting-edge information and technology to help bring about the breakthroughs you’re committed to bringing about.  

Imagine being equipped with a team and sponsorship to give your vision a voice as one of the contenders for the next XPRIZE competition.*

So, what are we asking you to do?

XPRIZE competitions start with Grand Challenges – the national or global crises, market failures, and opportunities where solutions are thought to be either out of reach or just plain impossible. This year, we want you to be part of the process of identifying these Grand Challenges and then collaborating with other competing Visioneers to design a prize.

First, you will start with a bootcamp, along with your fellow Visioneers, to learn more about XPRIZE, how we approach Grand Challenges, and learn the fundamentals of prize design from some of the foremost experts in the world. Over five months, with the help of XPRIZE, your team will develop a prize in an area of impact where an innovation breakthrough, that addresses a market failure not yet solved organically by government or business, would result in positive change.

The opportunity for you:

  • Team up with a sponsoring company to attack a Grand Challenge that you are both passionate about
  • Receive support from a team of dedicated resources and XPRIZE experts to craft a prize concept
  • Promote awareness of your passion and prize design efforts through XPRIZE marketing channels
  • Win The 2016 XPRIZE Visioneers event, presented by The Roddenberry Foundation, in September 2016 and have your prize become the next official XPRIZE competition*

Past attendees of this event have included members of the XPRIZE Vision Circle, the XPRIZE Innovation Board, and members of the Spirit of Innovation.

XPRIZE and the sponsors of The Visioneers are currently exploring challenges in the following areas:

  •  Using VR tech to teach empathy
  •  Retroffiting housing to drive down energy costs
  •  Predicting the next water contamination
  •  Cancer research
  •  Education
  •  ALS research
  •  Renewable Energy
  •  Desalination

So, what exactly are you doing as an XPRIZE Visioneer? The details, in a nutshell:

From now until May 15, 2016 Apply to be an XPRIZE Visioneer!
May 2-4, 2016 All Visioneers will convene in Los Angeles, CA with XPRIZE staff and mentors to participate in a bootcamp to learn more about XPRIZE and the fundamentals of prize development.
May - September, 2016 Visioneers will collaborate in teams to develop their Competition Guidelines. Some Visioneers will work full-time, others part-time, with each team matched with a mentor from XPRIZE and Deloitte Consulting.
September, 2016 Prepare your pitch! You will collaborate with your team to tell the story of your XPRIZE competition and the breakthrough you anticipate it will achieve.
September 29 - October 2, 2016 It’s time for all Visioneers to come together to compete at The 2016 XPRIZE Visioneers event! You will meet some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and pitch your competition!
October onwards Winning pitch is developed into the next XPRIZE competition*

How you will stand out:
When it comes to XPRIZE, you could pin successful submissions down to two main ingredients: sizzle and substance. Think you got one? Both? Whoa.

Sizzle: It’s not just a good idea -- it’s an XPRIZE competition. Sizzle is the undeniable sweet spot where your challenge idea has instant, near-universal resonance. Since we’re certainly cooking some of the more obvious ones (education, water, artificial intelligence), your sizzle needs to be more than just a flash in the pan to really stick.

Substance: Substance, in essence, is being the Neo of your field. You can see exactly what needs to be done, and who to get involved in order to make sure this challenge hits the ground running. OK, so your friends probably don’t call you “The One” (although, we wouldn’t be all that surprised) but that doesn’t mean you’re not uniquely positioned, driven, and already on your way to ask precisely the right questions to get this problem from zero to breakthrough.

What you will win:
Each team of XPRIZE Visioneers will receive funding and support valued up to $100,000 USD. Each team member will receive funding based on their level of participation on their Visioneers team. All expenses to the Visioneers Bootcamp and The XPRIZE Visioneers event will be covered by XPRIZE.

Beyond the monetary award, the greatest value you will receive is your inside view of creating an XPRIZE incentivized prize competition, alongside some of the best prize development experts in the world. Your participation in The XPRIZE Visioneers event will give you access to some of the greatest inventors, innovators, and social entrepreneurs in the world. Past attendees have included members of the XPRIZE Vision Circle, the XPRIZE Innovation Board, and members of the Spirit of Innovation. If selected as an XPRIZE competition,* you will help drive a world-changing discovery or invention.

That’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

Winners will be selected on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early!


Challenge Timeline

Challenge Launches March 21, 2016
First Challenge Deadline April 15, 2016
Second Challenge Deadline May 15, 2016

XPRIZE Visioneer Teams

Your responsibilities may include:

  • Connecting the team to industry experts and other social entrepreneurs
  • Bringing subject matter expertise to the prize design
  • Ensuring that XPRIZE design criteria are met
  • Collaborating with XPRIZE prize experts
  • Using network connections to enhance prize concept’s “prizeability”
  • Conducting interviews during the research phase
  • Setting up and driving team meetings
  • Monitoring progress to milestones
  • Coordinating with XPRIZE
  • Owning overall team development and performance
  • Coordinating sponsor media and communication needs
  • Spearheading the writing of the Ideation Report
  • Leading the team’s research efforts



The XPRIZE Foundation is the global leader in incentivized prize competitions to focus top innovators on solving the world's biggest problems for the benefit of humanity. 

We believe in the power of competition. That it’s part of our DNA. Of humanity itself. That tapping into that indomitable spirit of competition brings about breakthroughs and solutions that once seemed unimaginable. Impossible.

We believe that you get what you incentivize. And that without a target, you will miss it every time. Rather than throw money at a problem, we incentivize the solution and challenge the world to solve it.

We believe that challenges must be audacious, but achievable, tied to objective, measurable goals. And understandable by all.

We believe that solutions can come from anyone, anywhere and that some of the greatest minds of our time remain untapped, ready to be engaged by a world that is in desperate need of help. Solutions. Change. And radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.

Making the Impossible Possible.

*Contingent upon funding

Challenge Guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge Site often to review updates.



We are looking for Visioneers who are excited to get their hands dirty in a problem, participate in deep research, talk to experts, and then talk to them again. They are eager to debate, learn, analyze, create, and work closely with other team members. Visioneers understand how to set audacious goals, they aren't afraid to fail fast, and they see a breakthrough for an impossible problem.

We will assess how you and your challenge embodies the ideals of XPRIZE and Gene Roddenberry.

Submit early. Submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis and winners will be announced as they are selected. We encourage you to complete your submission as soon as possible.

Your Submission

To begin your submission, login to and then click on the “Start here” button on the challenge page. If you have not yet registered, click on “Sign In” in the upper right hand corner. Confirm your registration via email and then come back to the challenge.

As there are a number of questions in the submission, some that will take you longer than others to complete, so preview the form immediately. Spend time composing your answers offline and then login to complete your submission. Please remember to create an offline copy; we cannot be responsible for any text that is lost.

Be concise

Quality trumps quantity. We're looking for as much information about you as possible, but we purposely don't give you a lot of space. We’re looking at what you say just as much as how you say it. Be mindful of our character limits, which include spaces.

Your background

We want to learn about your entire life journey -- what you have done, what you are working on, and what impact you want to create for the world. What makes you a rebel? a troublemaker? a creative thinker? Tell us what makes your remarkable….don’t be afraid to brag!

Be audacious

Share your proudest accomplishments, your weirdest experiments, and what makes you exceptional. But, don't be afraid to tell us about your face-plant mistakes, the prototypes that would never be, and busineses that didn't make it. We are selecting from a talented pool of innovators from all over the world, so we encourage you to be brave and stand out from the crowd. Tell us about your most impressive work and your biggest failures -- from new inventions to innovations (or those that never came to be), to ground-breaking research or viral activism, to your greatest impact on your community, your workplace, your school, or the world.

Websites, photos, articles, etc.

We want to see the links with your work and your accomplishments -- they will help us to get to know you better. Any video submissions must first be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sharing site. Double-check that all of your links are working and that they are set to Public.

Uploaded Documents

Challenge Concept: Open the Challenge Concept template. Click on "File," then "Download as." Download the document, complete it, and upload it as a .pdf file in your submission form. To complete the document in Google Sheets first, click on "File," then "Make a Copy." Work in this copy and then download it as a .pdf file to attach it to your submission.

While not required, XPRIZE and the sponsors of The Visioneers are currently exploring challenges in the following areas:

  •  Using VR tech to teach empathy
  •  Retroffiting housing to drive down energy costs
  •  Predicting the next water contamination
  •  Cancer research
  •  Education
  •  ALS research
  •  Renewable Energy
  •  Desalination



Who can participate:

The Challenge is open to all individuals, age 18 or older, private, public, and students. Innovators may originate from any country. Submissions must be made in English. All prize-related communication will be in English.

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the Challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Registration and Submissions:

All innovators must be registered prior to submitting an entry. Final submissions must be received on or before May 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm EDT. No late submissions will be accepted.

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the website. All document uploads must be in PDF format (2 MB maximum). Paper size must be 8.5 by 11 inches. Minimum margins are one inch. Font must be minimum 12 pt, single-spaced (text in tables and figures may be as small as 9 pt).

Any video submissions must first be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sharing site. Double-check that all of your links are working and that they are set to Public.

Selection of Winners:

Winners will be selected and informed of their status on a rolling basis. Winners will be placed on teams, with other Visioneers.


Winners will be judged by the XPRIZE team, including people with expertise in Grand Challenges, prize development, prize operations, along with the team who leads The Visioneers event.

Visioneer Training and Participation:

By submitting an application to this challenge, you are offering your commitment to participate in:

  1. The XPRIZE Visioneers Bootcamp Training (May 2-4, Los Angeles, California) (if your application is received before the first challenge deadline on April 15, 2016)
  2. Prize Design (either part-time or full-time from May-September)
  3. The XPRIZE Visioneers event (September 29-October 2, Los Angeles, California)

All Visioneers will be required to enter into an agreement with XPRIZE and will be subject to all of its rules and requirements.

Additional Information

  • By participating in the Challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the Challenge.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.

Questions? Please reach out to and we'll get back to you!


Challenge Updates

Thank you for your participation!

July 18, 2016, 2:26 p.m. PDT by Nidhi Chaudhary

Hi innovators!

Thanks for your passion, enthusiam and interest in the XPRIZE Visioneers Challenge! And thank you for your patience as XPRIZE made its final decisions. No additional winners will be selected from the competition. We will keep you posted of other opportunities that may arise in the future -- and stay tuned for the announcements following XPRIZE Visioneers in October!

All the best,

HeroX and XPRIZE

LinkedIn Group for challenge participants

June 6, 2016, 8:02 a.m. PDT by Nidhi Chaudhary

Hi all -- 

Ketan Singh, a challenge competitor, has initiated a LinkedIn Group to connect all those who participated in the XPRIZE Visioneers Challenge and may wish to stay connected in the future. The group will not be monitored by HeroX, but we hope it will foster more creativity and collaboration amongst this talented community!

To join the group, click here:


Announcing two more Visioneers!

June 2, 2016, 12:53 p.m. PDT by Nidhi Chaudhary

We are so excited to announce two more XPRIZE Visioneers! Locher Grove and Leticia Prados will be joining the other Visioneers to design a challenge that may become the next XPRIZE. 

Thanks, again, to everyone for your participation in this challenge and stay tuned for more announcements!

More winners...coming soon!

May 23, 2016, 4:43 p.m. PDT by Nidhi Chaudhary

Hi all -- The XPRIZE team is still reading all of the amazing applications and challenge concepts. While we anticipated an announcement yesterday, the evaluations are taking longer than expected. Stay tuned as the team makes decisions within the coming days....

All the best!

Thanks to all participants. The XPRIZE Visioneers Challenge has closed for submission (for real this time.)

May 16, 2016, 4 a.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha

On behalf of the XPRIZE Foundation, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of you who took the time to put yourselves out there and enter our challenge. We look forward to learning more about your passions and interest to change the world. Just think: some of the people reading this will be attending XPRIZE Visioneers in September. It could be you! 

Stay tuned for more announcements from us soon. Best of luck to all, and thanks again!

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